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Crowded, cell-like environment induces shape changes in aspherical protein
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2008 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 105, no 33, 11754-11759 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How the crowded environment inside cells affects the structures of proteins with aspherical shapes is a vital question because many proteins and protein–protein complexes in vivo adopt anisotropic shapes. Here we address this question by combining computational and experimental studies of a football-shaped protein (i.e., Borrelia burgdorferi VlsE) in crowded, cell-like conditions. The results show that macromolecular crowding affects protein-folding dynamics as well as overall protein shape. In crowded milieus, distinct conformational changes in VlsE are accompanied by secondary structure alterations that lead to exposure of a hidden antigenic region. Our work demonstrates the malleability of “native” proteins and implies that crowding-induced shape changes may be important for protein function and malfunction in vivo.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences , 2008. Vol. 105, no 33, 11754-11759 p.
Keyword [en]
energy landscape theory, excluded volume effect, Lyme disease, macromolecular crowding, off-lattice model
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-10341DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0803672105OAI: diva2:150012
Available from: 2008-08-14 Created: 2008-08-14 Last updated: 2011-04-12Bibliographically approved

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Wittung-Stafshede, Pernilla
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Department of Chemistry
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